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TwitPic Founder Launches Twitter Clone

It can’t be coincidental timing. Less than 24 hours after Twitter rolled out its official photo sharing service to all users – something which will seriously compete with a service like TwitPic, a third-party application that does the same thing as the now-official version – TwitPic co-founder Noah Everett announces his new project. And it looks suspiciously like a Twitter clone – with almost nothing to differentiate it.

Twitter announced its photo sharing service back in June, but it was only today that all users could access it. I’m sure that initial announcement had Everett shaking in his boots, and probably helped him put the fast-track on Heello.

First impressions: Heello is Twitter, only without the userbase, relationships with mainstream media and advertisers, and experienced team behind it.

When you sign up for Heello, you create a username… which has that pretty iconic “@” symbol in front of it. Then, in order to interact with the network, you share “Pings”. Can you guess what a “Ping” is? Come, on, guess. It’s a 140 character message that can include the @username of someone else to “tag” them in the post, or multimedia like pictures and video. Did I mention that it is 140 characters long?

Heello also has followers and people you’re following, but prefers to call them “Listeners” and “Listening”. Oi…

Apparently, as TechCrunch reports (just as puzzled as I am), the big difference between Heello and Twitter is that Heello’s stream of updates is automatic, and you don’t need to click for more “Pings”. But as they say, “What’s odd about Heello is that it doesn’t really seem that original besides the continuous stream of updates, which actually gets annoying.”

I couldn’t agree more. It is odd, and puzzling, and a bit perplexing. In fact, I hope that Heello is a big joke waged on the tech space, because at least that would have some sense. But I really can’t see the strategic value of creating a Twitter clone right now, especially one with pretty much nothing to differentiate itself.

If you want to try out Heello, it’s now open to the public. You can grab your usual username and start sending 140-character “Pings” to your friends… but really, I think TechCrunch got it right when they asked: “Is Heello just one big F-you to Twitter?”. Yes, yes it probably is.

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